BASIC R.C. BELIEF
About the time that Mariology was beginning to develop in the Church,
there was a segment of Roman Catholic theology that regarded Mary as
the "second Eve," securing through her obedience what Eve had lost
through her disobedience. It was thought that Mary had an integral
part in God's redemptive plan and that had she not been willing to
play her part, God's plan of salvation would have been thwarted.
This excessive attributing of redemptive actualities to Mary remained
dormant in Roman Catholicism, while mariolatry was developing with
teaching concerning her Immaculate Conception, sinlessness, perpetual
virginity and Assumption.
On March 22, 1918, Pope Benedict XV said, <169>She suffered so much
for us, almost to the point of dying with Her suffering and dying
Son. Therefore we may rightfully say that she has, with Christ,
redeemed the human race.<170>
POST VATICAN II
In Vatican II, the issue was avoided. However, LUMEN GENTIUM
(11/21/64) says, "The Father of mercies willed the Incarnation should
be preceded by assent on the part of the pre-destined mother, so that
just as a woman had a share in bringing about death, so also a woman
should contribute to life."
This thought of Mary as Co-Redemptress has been revived, with many
positively declaring that she had a role in Christ's redemptive work
and calling her "Mediatress of all Grace." Conservatives are urging a
papal decree to this effect, but progressives are afraid that such a
proclamation would harm ecumenical relations. So far, the pope has
not defined Mary's role in redemption. We are told, however, that all
Grace comes to men only through Mary.
Scripture makes it plain that Jesus Christ alone is responsible for
our salvation (Acts 4:12). Mary was a willing vessel, but salvation
is of Christ the Lord!
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